Duplantis, the new expensive of Olympus, reigns in the pole

The Swede conquers the Olympic gold medal with 6.02 and tests 6.19, although he does not get the world record for a friction when falling

Armand Duplantis, after winning the Olympic gold.BEN STANSALLAFP
  • Warholm The white athlete who achieves a world record to the rhythm of Bolt

The Olympus has its new expensive, but an expensive that finds the right flight in Tokyo. Although the record of the world resisted, it is in the body, powerful and at the same time ethereal, of Armand Duplantis, for all Mondo. This first gold in a Games, at age 21, is the beginning of a great Olympic history, long history. Wait.

Duplantis caught the breath of the few remaining in the stadium. He had cleared the way with 6.02, after slacking all the heights until the last resistor, broke at 5.97. It was the Mondo moment, a record moment. His rivals stayed to cheer him on, in a commendable act of camaraderie.

He set the bar on 6.19, a centimeter more than its 6.18. He flew like never before and only when he fell did he brush against the ribbon with his chest. There was the record. Afterwards, it was no longer the same. The record is pending. Do not be late.

Duplantis is not a laboratory peer. In flight it is like in life. He makes it clear: “I am supernatural.” He rises as if he were doing it by a natural condition, as if he fell in love with the pole, two beings in one in movement. The son of a pertiguista, he has practiced it since he was a child in the garden of his house, in Louisiana, but his own father recognizes that there is something different: “It’s feeling.”

Tokyo served him its sky, clear for the moment of his jump, after days of storm. The ease with which he rose to gold is truly that of someone anointed, blessed. He wanted to give away the world record to a stadium without spectators who would have deserved much more. What great Games would they have been in a country that receives as in the houses of before. It stayed at 6.02. The 6.20 barrier trembles. It is two centimeters away.

Duplantis, during one of his jumps.BEN STANSALLAFP

Training, Stakhanovistic though it may be, does not provoke sudden, early appearances like Duplantis. Is right Greg duplantis, who gave directions to his son before each jump. ‘Mondo’ was looking for him. The father made him a special pole at the age of seven and the boy began to break all the records of his age. It still has the best marks in all categories from sub 7 to sub’12 and from sub’17 to absolute category, where those 6.18 appear. However, it is the same as he had already done with his other two sons, older than ‘Mondo,’ Andreas Y Antoine. The former represented Sweden in Junior World Cups; the second preferred baseball and took him to the New York Mets.

Sport is something idiosyncratic for the Duplantis family, since the mother, Helena, was a decathlete. Helena is the reason Duplantis, of an American father and raised in Louisiana, is competing for Sweden. As a child I would spend summers to Uppsale, near Stockholm. As with the pole, he felt that he should choose Sweden, where he is much loved for his successes, but above all, for his determination.

Mam, at the Olympic Stadium

Helena was finally able to be at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, despite restrictions limiting accreditations. ‘Mondo’ confesses that he will not be what he is without his mother, who has become an expert dietician. Leaving the fried has been the most difficult.

Helena was on her first world record, in the Polish city of Torun, as far as it took some new, harder poles. The father quickly ordered them from his usual supplier, Steve Chappel, because I sensed that I was at the right time to try. It was Helena who took them by van from Sweden to Poland, where she had to compete. He jumped 6.17, an inch more than the record he had Renaud lavillenie since 2014. A week later, I raised it by one centimeter (6.18), in Glasgow. On whether he will follow the strategy of Sergei bubka, which provided income in the form of bonuses, has not commented. In Tokyo there were none, only the glory of the scene.

Since he was a child, ‘Mondo’ had posters of Ravinelle in his room. Bubka was too far away for the Swede. Now they share a healthy rivalry, he has even received advice from the French in tests. Tokyo, with diminished French, was one more example. The room for improvement is huge for the jumper. His mother thinks he should gain weight and improve acceleration. He runs the 100 at 10.57 and the goal is for him to do so at 10.40. The entrance is key, where speed prevails. Then agility and flexibility. Bubka, almost a decathlete, was helped by part of her training as a gymnast. Greg, on the other hand, does not obsess him. ‘Mondo’ measures 1.81, two centimeters less than the Ukrainian champion, but already flies higher. It does not happen like Ddalo, the father of caro.